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If polls delayed, those responsible should be charged with treason: Abbasi | Pakistan

ISLAMABAD: Former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi on Monday said that if the elections are not held on time, those responsible should be proceeded against under Article 6 (treason) of the Constitution.

Abbasi was speaking to the media outside the Rawalpindi bench of Lahore High Court (LHC), where he had appeared for the hearing of an appeal filed against his candidature from NA-57 Murree constituency. 

The former prime minister said that the nation, not courts, decide the fate of elections.

Responding to a question about fielding candidates against former PML-N member Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, Abbasi commented that the party had made the decision. “The party’s decision is our decision,” he said.  

Abbasi is contesting on the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz’s ticket from NA-53, as well as his home constituency of NA-57 Murree. His nomination from Murree has also been challenged in the Rawalpindi appellate tribunal. 

Petitioner Masood Ahmed Abbas had challenged Abbasi’s candidature, accusing him of extorting money from the national exchequer. 

The petitioner had alleged that the candidate, during his tenure as the prime minister, had obtained Rs1 billion from the national kitty and given the amount to his son to perform Umrah.  

During the lunch recess of the hearing, Abbasi spoke to the media outside the court. He said that a returning officer could not challenge a candidate’s affidavit. “The returning officer has to take the affidavit on face value,” said the former prime minister, stressing that only nations could decide the fate of elections. 

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